Sebastian Vettel in ominous form during practice for Indian Grand Prix

 

Sebastian Vettel is threatening to make it four race victories in a row after sweeping Friday practice for Sunday's Indian Grand Prix.

The opening two 90-minute sessions are rarely an indicator as to how a weekend might unfold, but on this occasion and at this stage of the season, Red Bull and Vettel appear unbeatable.

Following a run of three successive wins, Vettel heads into the race at the Buddh International Circuit on the outskirts of New Delhi with a six-point cushion over Ferrari's Fernando Alonso.

There is every possibility that lead will be extended should Vettel maintain his current form, because other than team-mate Mark Webber, the rest of the field were effectively nowhere.

Vettel cruised around the 5.125-kilometre circuit in a time of one minute 26.221 seconds, 1.4secs up on his best in the morning courtesy of the much faster softer tyres that were not aired until FP2.

Webber was just over a tenth of a second adrift, and whilst Alonso was third-quickest, the Spaniard in his Ferrari was 0.599secs down on Vettel, and clearly faces an uphill battle to mount any kind of challenge this weekend.

Just four other drivers finished within a second of Vettel, who is on course to win his third successive title, a feat only achieved previously by Juan Manuel Fangio and Michael Schumacher.

Nico Rosberg in his Mercedes was 0.801secs down, followed by Lotus' Kimi Raikkonen, the Finn a further eight-thousandths of a second behind.

As for McLaren, who have only managed to get both cars home in two of the last seven races to wreck their drivers' title bid and undermine their hopes of a long-overdue constructors' crown, Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button were left trailing.

Hamilton finished 0.910secs down and Button 0.961secs adrift, with their form of just a few races ago when they had the advantage in Belgium, Italy and Singapore having disappeared.

Behind the leading players, Nico Hulkenberg in his Force India was the best of the rest in eighth place, three places and seven-tenths of a second quicker than team-mate Paul Di Resta.

Sandwiched in between the duo were Romain Grosjean in his Lotus and the Williams of Bruno Senna, the Brazilian faster than team-mate Pastor Maldonado by 0.8secs even after missing out on FP1 to again make way for reserve Valtteri Bottas.

After also missing the first session due to a cold, Sauber driver Sergio Perez returned for FP2 to finish 12th, two seconds behind Vettel, but ahead of team-mate Kamui Kobayashi in 16th.

Bringing up the rear was Charles Pic for Marussia. The Frenchman was 5.272secs behind Vettel.

PA

News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Sport
Danny Welbeck's Manchester United future is in doubt
footballGunners confirm signing from Manchester United
Sport
footballStriker has moved on loan for the remainder of the season
Sport
footballFeaturing Bart Simpson
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
New Articles
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
News
The five geckos were launched into space to find out about the effects of weightlessness on the creatures’ sex lives
i100
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
booksRiddling trilogy could net you $3m
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
News
i100
Life and Style
The longer David Sedaris had his Fitbit, the further afield his walks took him through the West Sussex countryside
lifeDavid Sedaris: What I learnt from my fitness tracker about the world
Arts and Entertainment
Word master: Self holds up a copy of his novel ‘Umbrella’
booksUnlike 'talented mediocrity' George Orwell, you must approach this writer dictionary in hand
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering